National League MVPs by Year—1980s
National League MVPs by Year-1980s
Offensively speaking, guys like Dale Murphy and Mike Schmidt ruled the National League in the 1980s. But there were some other players who also stood out and helped their respective teams reach the postseason. Here is a list of NL MVP Award winners from that decade:
1989-Kevin Mitchell, San Francisco Giants
When he first came up with the Mets, Kevin Mitchell was kind of forgotten about among a lineup of sluggers like Darryl Strawberry, Gary Carter and George Foster. But a few years later, he showed the potential he always possessed, winning the NL MVP in 1989 while with the Giants. Mitchell hit 47 home runs with 125 RBI, 100 runs scored, 34 doubles, 6 triples, a .291 batting average and .635 slugging percentage.
1988-Kirk Gibson, Los Angeles Dodgers
His home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series is one of the most memorable in baseball. But with the MVP votes having to be tallied before that, the home run had no bearing on Kirk Gibson winning the NL honors in 1988. In a fairly close vote over New York's Darryl Strawberry, Gibson won the MVP by hitting .290 with 25 home runs, 76 RBI, 28 doubles, 31 stolen bases, and a .377 on base percentage.
1987-Andre Dawson, Chicago Cubs
After toiling away north of the border for years, outfielder Andre Dawson entered the "friendly confines" of Wrigley Field and had a breakout season with the Cubs in 1987, capped by winning the NL MVP. Dawson had career highs in home runs (49) and runs batted in (137). He also batted .287 with 24 doubles and a .568 slugging percentage.
1986-Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia Phillies
Phils' third baseman Mike Schmidt was not just a great slugging third baseman, he was one of the game's all-time great home run hitters. And in 1986, Schmidt took home his third NL MVP Award by hitting .290 with 37 home runs and 119 RBI. He also scored 97 runs, and hit 29 doubles with a slugging percentage of .547.
1985-Willie McGee, St. Louis Cardinals
Outfielder Willie McGee was not a power hitter, but rather one of Whitey Herzog's speed guys that wreaked havoc on opponents. In 1985, McGee helped the Cardinals reach the World Series by batting .353 (which led the NL) with 10 homers, 82 RBI, 114 runs scored, 26 doubles, 18 triples, 56 stolen bases, and an on base average of .353. And all of that helped McGee capture the NL MVP that year.
1984-Ryne Sandberg, Chicago Cubs
Cubs' second baseman Ryne Sandberg did not have his best season in 1984, but it was enough for him to win his only NL MVP Award. Sandberg helped the Cubs reach the postseason by batting .314 with 19 home runs, 84 runs batted in, 36 doubles, 19 triples, 32 stolen bases, 200 hits, 114 runs scored, an on base average of .367 and a slugging percentage of .520. He also only committed six errors, posting a fielding percentage of .993, en route to winning the second of his nine Gold Gloves.
1983-Dale Murphy, Atlanta Braves
Dale Murphy won the second straight of his two NL MVP Awards in 1983 by batting .302 with 36 homers and 121 RBI. Murphy also scored 131 runs, hit 24 doubles, stole 30 bases, and had a slugging percentage of .540.
1982-Dale Murphy, Atlanta Braves
In 1982, Murphy won the first of his NL MVPs by hitting .281 with 36 homers, 109 runs batted in, 23 doubles, and 23 stolen bases. Murphy also had a slugging percentage of .507 and won his first Gold Glove Award.
1981-Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia Phillies
In 102 games played during the strike-shortened 1981 season, Mike Schmidt took home the second of his three NL MVP Awards. He did so by hitting .316 with 31 homers and 91 RBI, as well as career highs in on base average (.435) and slugging percentage (.644).
1980-Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia Phillies
In helping the Phillies win a World Series, Mike Schmidt also won the first of his three National League MVP Awards. He batted .286 with career highs in home runs (48) and runs batted in (121). Schmidt added 25 doubles, 8 triples, 12 stolen bases and posted a slugging percentage of .624. He also won his fifth straight Gold Glove.